The Kisoro Trust News
For all our news from 2014 onwards, please head over to our Newsletters page and there is plenty to read there.
Having just prepared its annual accounts, The Kisoro Trust was amazed to discover that since 2000, it has raised an incredible £173,029! A huge thank you to all our supporters and donors who have stuck with us over the past 14 years and made this possible.
Former students take over management of Deaf Unit!
In May 2014, after 13 years of running the deaf education programme in Kisoro, Reverend Ephraim Mbabazi stepped down from the role of director and passed the reins to Kisoro District Association for the Deaf (KDAD). KDAD is a local advocacy and awareness raising association which has an elected board and a constitution focussed on the education, empowerment and support of the deaf community. The organisation is made up of young adults who have themselves graduated from the deaf programme at Kisoro Demonstration School, thus they have valuable, first hand insight into the experience and needs of the children. We anticipate that this new ambitious management team will help to make the programme even stronger in the coming years.
Another advantage of this changeover is that it provides KDAD with an income, enabling its members to be employed in activities which will greatly benefit the wider deaf community; there are few employment opportunities for people with disabilities in Kisoro. Already KDAD has been able to open the first Deaf Centre in Kisoro, offering counselling, advocacy support, sign language led Sunday school, as well as a safe central location for deaf people to meet in order to build the sense of community and belonging. This is truly an example of successful and sustainable development. The Kisoro Trust would like to thank Reverend Mbabazi for all his years of hard work and dedication, and wish KDAD all the best for their new undertaking.
Getting to know KDAD President Jonas Kinuma
Jonas grew up in a small fishing village several miles outside of Kisoro Town. He went to a local primary school until the age of 12 years old, when he sadly lost his mother to malaria. Soon after, Jonas lost his hearing as a result of complications from malaria. After becoming deaf, Jonas remained at Kabame Primary School, struggling to get by without any means of communication, until he was approached by the Kisoro Trust funded deaf programme the first of its kind the region. Jonas was amongst the first group of children enrolled into the programme in 2001. The programme offered specialist teaching, food, board and care throughout his years in education. Jonas graduated from senior school in 2012 with high marks, sufficient to enter a top university in the capital, Kampala. Jonas has been president of KDAD for the last three years. Here he shares his thoughts about KDADs new role and his hopes and dreams for the future of the deaf community in Kisoro.
Kisoro Trust Jonas, what would life be like for you as a young deaf man if you hadnt enrolled in the Kisoro Trust deaf programme?
Jonas If I had never started in the programme, life would have been very difficult for me. I wouldnt have learned either sign language or English, so I would not have been able to communicate with my family. I also wouldnt have the knowledge to help the deaf community through my roles in leadership and advocacy.
Kisoro Trust Can you tell us a bit about the work of KDAD in the deaf unit?
Jonas We have many responsibilities in the deaf unit. Firstly, we work closely with Kisoro Demonstration School administration to provide food, water, school supplies, medical care and fire wood. Secondly, we offer homework support for children and provide religious education lessons to deaf children using sign language, as we feel it is important for all children to have access to Gods word. Additionally, we have set up sign language tuition for teachers and parents of deaf children who are trying to improve their language skills and we offer an after school dance, drama and music group for the children.
Kisoro Trust What are your hopes for the next generation of deaf people in Kisoro?
At KDAD we have many hopes. By raising awareness of deafness in the
larger community, we hope that more deaf children will be identified
and will have the opportunity to access the Kisoro Trust programme (currently,
the only deaf education programme in the region). We hope to improve
the lives of deaf children by working with their parents and families
to learn sign language and gain a better understanding of the needs
of their deaf child. Looking further ahead, we hope that young deaf
people in Kisoro will build a strong network of support, share skills,
and develop the project so that it can benefit more deaf people. Lastly,
we hope one day to set up a higher institution or vocational training
for young deaf adults.
Sustain for Life
Sustain for Life are another charity who have been involved in Kisoro. This is a non-profit making organization based in the UK, Switzerland and Italy that has pledged to help the school by improving on the infrastructure. They have so far constructed shower rooms, toilets, installed water, bought beddings for 70 children and they are constructing a dining space with a kitchen and store that is intended to be completed in December.They therefore hope that by next year the children will no longer be eating under the trees or within dormitories. This would be fantastic news for not only the Deaf pupils, but all the children at Kisoro Demonstration School.
Kisoro in the News
As well as the involvement of Sustain for Life in Kisoro, there are other examples of organisations who help provide for the children.
(Support Education for Disabled Children in Uganda)
a video of the Kisoro Demonstration School on YouTube uploaded
by one of the Mountain Gorilla Projects. We don't know if they still
have any association with the school but it gives you a glimpse of
the school surroundings.
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Site updated August 12, 2018
The Kisoro Trust
91 Restalrig Avenue, Edinburgh, EH7 6PN
Recognised Scottish Charity No. SC 029384
Email address: info@Kisoro.org